The Three Meals of Christmas

The tree will be fresh cut, the decorations will be nature or music inspired, the wreath my Grandma made will be hung, the nutcrackers shall increase in number, and books and music will rule the gifts.

While I schedule like a pro, I am not big on planning too far ahead for meals. It’s more fun to think about what I want to eat that day and make it! But, as stores are closed or have limited hours, holidays are a different story. And so, I plan, chat with my favorite butcher at the meat market, and shop accordingly.

Fortunately, it’s really quite easy to create a list of meals for our family’s traditional Three Meals of Christmas. Tradition is the buzz word in that sentence. I am allowed a certain amount of experimentation, but the food tradition basics, just like the decorative elements, must remain the same. I’ve come to terms with this and gradually tweaked the menu to make me happy to repeat it.

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Meatloaf with Saltines

meatloaf Lindas

meatloaf in 9×5 inch pans

Ingredients:

1 T butter
1 large sweet onion, minced
1 large green bell pepper, minced
2 lbs ground chuck
1 lb ground pork
20 smashed Saltine crackers
3/4 cup ketchup
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 t ground black pepper
3/4 cup ketchup
1 1/2 T brown sugar
1/4 t dried mustard Read More


Recipe of the Week: Almost Swedish Meatballs

almost-swedish-meatballsMy Grandma B came to the United States from Sweden when she was about 15 years old. The meals she cooked were an interesting mix of New and Old Country. Unfortunately, her recipes live on only in my culinary memory. I hope these meatballs would have made her proud.

Ingredients:

2 slices soft whole wheat bread, torn into small pieces
scant 2/3 cup 2% milk
1- 1 1/3 lb ground beef
1 egg
1 1/2 T onion, finely minced
1/4 t mace
1/4 t pepper
1/8 t allspice
2 T butter
2 T flour
1 can condensed cream of celery soup, or one recipe cream of celery soup
1 cup white wine, divided use
1 cup undiluted evaporated milk
2 T chopped fresh parsley
12 oz uncooked medium wide egg noodles

For the directions, click here.



Mama’s Italian Beef Stew

mamas beef stew bowlIngredients:

3 lbs chuck roast or thick sirloin steak, trimmed and cut into 1 inch pieces
6 carrots, peeled and sliced into large pieces
3 large white potatoes, unpeeled and cut into chunks
5-6 (2 pounds) ripe tomatoes, well crushed by hand
3 stalks celery including leaves, cut into large pieces
1 sweet onion, chopped
2 t ground basil
1 t Mediterranean oregano
1/2 t ground black pepper
Salt to taste
2 T olive oil

Optional: hot red pepper flakes Read More


Meatballs with Pork and Cream

Meatball Pork CreamIngredients:

2 slices of whole wheat bread, torn into small pieces
1/4 cup heavy cream
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2 T finely minced onion
1 T fresh parsley, finely chopped
1 T ground garlic
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1/2 t dried thyme
1/4 t ground black pepper
1 lb lean ground grass fed beef
1 lb natural ground pork
1 cup Parmesan Reggiano, shredded Read More




Stuffed Peppers

Stuffed PeppersIngredients:

6 large bell peppers, your choice of green, red, orange, or yellow
4 slices Italian or French bread, approximately 4 cups, loosely packed, and generously measured
1/4 cup water
1 pound ground beef, 93% lean
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 T fresh parsley, chopped
2 eggs
Pinch of salt
1/4 t ground black pepper
1/4 t oregano
1 1/2 cups marinara or other tomato sauce
1/3 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
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Meatball Soup

Meatball Soup WM

Meatball Ingredients:

1 1/3 pound ground beef
1/2 cup processed bread crumbs
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
1 egg
2 T fresh parsley chopped (or 2 t dried)
1 T dried garlic
1 t dried onion powder
1 t oregano
1/2 t cracked black pepper

Soup Ingredients:

2 T olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 T garlic, minced
4 cups beef stock.
1 (28 oz) can diced tomatoes
1 cup water
1 T dried basil
2 t oregano
1 t sugar
1/2 t cracked black pepper
1/2 t Tabasco sauce
12 oz cut green beans
1 meatball recipe from above
1/2 cup acini di pepe or other teensy tiny soup pasta Read More